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Our stories

The Scholarships that are Supporting, Training and Retaining Staff in the West

Saturday 20 April 2024

In March 2024, Western Health Education and Learning held their Graduate Program Certificate and Awards Presentation.

The ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate those who had completed their graduate studies, while also awarding six incoming graduate students with their Plenary Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Multiplex Perioperative Scholarships.

As Robyn Peel, Director of Education and Learning stated, “Western Health promotes a culture of continuous learning. As research identifies new ways to improve patient outcomes, clinicians and health service employees need to remain at the forefront of these developments through ongoing learning.”

In attendance were Kelvyn Lavelle, Chair, New Footscray Hospital Project at Plenary Health, and Chris Szambelanczyk, Regional Director from Multiplex. In their addresses to the 100-person crowd, Kelvyn and Chris spoke of the privilege it is to be affiliated with Western Health’s Learning and Education Programs in this way.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to be a part of retaining staff and the priorities of our partner, Western Health,” said Kelvyn.

Chris said, “it’s our honour to support Western Health to recognise and develop their people as they continue to play a critical role in delivering vital health services in the west.”

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Left to right: Chris Szambelanczyk from Multiplex and Kelvyn Lavelle from Plenary Health

These scholarships are awarded to Western Health nurses who have shown great promise and dedication in their work. They offer monetary support toward course fees and associated study costs, so the students can focus on their learning. In doing so, they help attract, train and retain staff in the west.

“Nurses make up the majority of our workforce here at Western Health and they’re in short supply across the world” says Prof Russell Harrison, Western Health CEO. “Continuing to attract, retain and train them into new positions is really important.”

“A huge thank you to Plenary and Multiplex for their support; these scholarships are really valuable for us, our staff, and our community. A big congratulations to the scholarship recipients, you should feel very proud. Well done.”

Let’s meet the recipients

Plenary Health ICU Scholarship recipients:

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Left to right: Axel D’emmerez de Charmony, Kelvyn Lavelle from Plenary Health and Shane Crowe, Executive Director of Nursing & Midwifery at Western Health

Axel D’emmerez de Charmony - Sunshine ICU:

Recognised for his hard work, dedication, skills and empathy as a nurse, Axel started his journey in the ICU in August 2023. He’ll be doing further study into Critical Care Nursing and is really keen to continue making a difference in this space.

Of the scholarship, Axel says he’s humbled to be recognised. “It motivates me to keep honing my skills and empathy, and to make an even greater impact on my patients' lives.”

“Beyond the incredible financial support, this scholarship recognises my dedication to becoming a critical care nurse and is a vote of confidence in my ability to excel in this demanding field. It frees me to focus on studies.”

Lal Lian Mawi Bualthang (Mawite) - Footscray ICU

Mawite commenced her time in Footscray ICU as a Grad+ learner in August 2023. Having worked hard to build up her knowledge and skills in this role, Mawite was seen as a fantastic choice for this scholarship.

“This scholarship means a lot to me. I was initially very concerned about the fees for postgrad as it was quite expensive for me. But this scholarship will alleviate some of my financial burden.”

“I am truly grateful to be recognised. It encouraged me to move forward and further advance my knowledge and skills.”

Multiplex Scholarship recipients:

Julie Ngo - Sunshine Theatres

Julie Ngo commenced her journey in perioperative nursing in November 2020, at the height of Covid. Despite these challenges, Julie demonstrated resilience and thrived in her role as a theatre nurse.

“Receiving the Multiplex Perioperative Scholarship means a lot to me as this has allowed me to pursue further education and training within the perioperative field,” she says.

Recognised also for her excellence, hard-work and reliability as a nurse, she says the scholarship made her feel valued. “It encouraged me to continue providing competent and compassionate care to meet the diverse and complex needs of our patients.”

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Left to right: Rebecca White, Chris Szambelanczyk from Multiplex and Shane Crowe, Executive Director of Nursing & Midwifery at Western Health

Rebecca White - Footscray Theatres

Rebecca has been working alongside theatres in Day Procedures for the last five years. She started her journey to perioperative nursing in February 2023.

Rebecca was chosen for her excellence as a nurse, collaboration, and rapport with patients. “It is my goal to try and make all patients at ease, maintaining their dignity while they undergo invasive and stressful procedures,” she says.

“This scholarship enables me to continue studying and providing better care to patients. It allows me to not worry about paying another HECS debt back on top of the rising cost of living.”

Bryan Maranga - Footscray Theatres

Bryan has been working as an Instrument and circulating nurse for thirteen years. He started his perioperative journey in New Zealand, before commencing with Western Health in August 2021. Bryan was recognised for excellent clinical skills, patient-centred care, and his proven ability in leadership as the floor’s In-Charge Nurse.

Lydia Clements - Joan Kirner WC Theatres

Recognised for her hard work and collaboration, Lydia began her journey to Perioperative Nursing in May 2023. She’s excited to be supported in the area of nursing that interests her and is looking forward to the opportunities this further study will bring.

“This scholarship means a lot to me as it shows that my hard work is paying off and I am doing well in my career,” she says.

“After I finish studying, I can become a clinical nurse specialist and in future potentially become an ANUM or educator.”